A few years back, I was facilitating a board retreat, where it quickly became clear to me that the majority of the board members were unwilling to participate in fundraising or even open to the idea of fundraising.
The First Question is Key
In all my years of working with boards, I had never encountered such a resistant group. So I asked them this question:
Do you want your organization to grow, or do you want it to say the same or even shrink?
That’s the bottom line question board members need to consider when deciding whether they will or won’t participate in fundraising.
And now I have two questions for you:
- Do your board members participate in fundraising?
- Could a board retreat help and do you really need one?
10 More Questions to Gear Up Any Board for Fundraising
I’m preparing to facilitate a board retreat later this week, and we’ll be covering a lot of ground, including fundraising training and strategic planning.
Here are 10 important questions I’m going to ask during the retreat to get them geared up for the coming year. I’ve broken them up into the areas we’ll be focusing on the most.
Case for Support
1. What is our impact in the community?
2. What do we do that is unique or better? In other words, why us?
3. Why now? What is the urgency?
4. What are our current goals/priorities?
- Have we accomplished them? Why/Why Not?
- What will it take to accomplish them?
- Should we keep working on them?
5. What are new projects/goals we’d like to consider? How do we want to grow?
- Do we have the staffing and financial resources to tackle them?
- What would it take to tackle them?
6. What are your biggest fears about fundraising? (Don’t ask this unless you are prepared to discuss it, but don’t stay on this topic for long.)
7. Why do you think people give? How does it make them feel?
8. How have you been treated as a donor? How are we treating our donors?
9. What can we do to treat our donors better?
10. How can you help?
These are just some questions to get you thinking about how to make your board more successful this year. And to answer one of the two questions I asked you at the beginning of this post:
YES! You DO need a board retreat this year. I hope you’ll start planning one right away.
Of course, a board retreat isn’t the end of the road to getting board members to help with fundraising — it’s just the beginning. I recommend incorporating fundraising training and discussions into every board meeting, and here are two surprisingly simple steps to do just that!
What are you going to do differently this year to get your board more involved in fundraising? Leave a comment below.